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#1

aussiemd
Member
From: Wallaroo
Joined: 06 March 2019
Posts: 19
Member
02 May 2019 07:49 am

I have recently put up a website that helps identify and date shotgun shell heads that you may find while metal detecting. It is not complete by any means but it covers most the major US and British ammunition makers of the 19th and 20th centuries. I still have a lot of headstamp photos and dates to put up so check back now and then.

https://aussiemetaldetecting.com/shotsh … -database/


Website Blog and Shotshell Headstamp ID: aussiemetaldetecting.com
Instagram: @aussiemetaldetecting

8 users like this post: Dave79, Daggy, 7.62marksman, Wishfull, Jaros, Rockhunter62, Greenhornet_au, numpty

#2

Deepseeker
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Joined: 13 August 2018
Posts: 195
Member
02 May 2019 01:24 pm

Hey, nice website aussiemd thumbsup

I've come across a few shotgun shell heads while detecting but it has never occurred to me to study them further. It looks like it could be a fascinating field (I myself collect early Victoria Numeral Cancellations on stamps and i can see how it could become addictive).

I'll take more notice of what I find in the future, and if I find anything that isn't listed on your website I'll forward on a photo. by the way, which brand is probably the oldest &/or rarest we are likely to find in the Victorian Goldfields?


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1 user likes this post: aussiemd

#3

aussiemd
Member
From: Wallaroo
Joined: 06 March 2019
Posts: 19
Member
02 May 2019 01:54 pm

Well Eley, US Cartridge Co., and UMC come to mind as early shotshells we find over here. They will be 1880's onwards probably. You might find an early Eley pinfire. A detectorist in SA sent me a photo of one he found recently. I find they can be useful to date the area you are detecting.


Website Blog and Shotshell Headstamp ID: aussiemetaldetecting.com
Instagram: @aussiemetaldetecting

2 users like this post: Daggy, StoneTheCrows

#4

Greenhornet_au
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Joined: 01 November 2016
Posts: 697
Member
02 May 2019 03:00 pm

Black powder shotguns were more common for field use, even right into the early/mid 1900's.

Did the job, were cheaper to use, cartridge guns were more expensive to shoot just because of the cost of manufactured shells that you had to use,
then there were many odd gauges depending on where the firearm was manufactured.

So in those times it was more reliable to use something you could load without the worry of where to find the right "shells".

Not to say that people could not afford shot shells, but you would have to be more affluent to buy Shotgun shells then.

Kato has found some older name shells in the inner city parks and ovals, some branded 'Purdey' - a famous English Gun making family. thumbsup


Still looking for Captain Feather-swords treasure chest !
Won't be long now - 3240+ holes and STILL counting. (bloody ring-pulls and tabs) LOL

#5

Deepseeker
Member
Joined: 13 August 2018
Posts: 195
Member
05 May 2019 11:21 am

Hi guys,

I went detecting yesterday up around McIvor, and I did happen upon a shotgun shell end. It said on the end that it was an Eley Australia and yes it was a pinfire going by the divot in the centre.

I have a fairly limited knowledge on guns Greenhornet, so when you say a black powder shotgun do you mean like you see in the movies where they pour the powder through the end of the barrel, shove in some wadding and then put the shot in and ram it down with a long stick thing?


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#6

aussiemd
Member
From: Wallaroo
Joined: 06 March 2019
Posts: 19
Member
05 May 2019 06:01 pm

A pinfire shotgun shell has a pin sticking out the side of the head. The most common type is a center-fire which is the type you would have found where the primer is in the center of the head. I'm not 100% on the age of that shotgun shell you found but likely post ww2. Did it have ICI stamped on it?

The gun you describe is a muzzle loader and it did use black powder. Shotguns were not very popular until they became breech-loading and shotshells were available to use in them. The earliest shells used black powder (gunpowder) which shooters could load themselves. Around 1880 the change was made to smokeless/nitro powder which was derived from nitroglycerine and was normally sold already loaded in shotshells. Black powder was still used well into the 1900s, some shooters preferred to load their own and as greenhornet pointed out it was cheaper.

Last edited by aussiemd (05 May 2019 06:02 pm)


Website Blog and Shotshell Headstamp ID: aussiemetaldetecting.com
Instagram: @aussiemetaldetecting

#7

Deepseeker
Member
Joined: 13 August 2018
Posts: 195
Member
05 May 2019 09:12 pm

Thanks aussiemd,

I get it now. I had assumed the pin was the thing on the hammer that hit it ops
The one I found had what looked like a round insert pressed into it, which I had assumed was some kind of primer/detonator for the rest of the explosive stuff in the head. I don't remember seeing ICI on it but it may well have been there.


Try hard not to offend. Try even harder not to be offended.

#8

Greenhornet_au
Member
Joined: 01 November 2016
Posts: 697
Member
05 May 2019 09:32 pm

Yep you described a more modern 'centerfire primer' shell, Eley is a long history brand.

Black powder shotguns are loaded similar to the Muzzle loader rifle, and both are loaded from the muzzle end (business end),
being smooth bore they could fire a range of projectiles and are only "proofed tested" for black powder.

Pinfire was a new concept but it really didnt last because of the invention of Centerfire primers and cartridges,
Pinfire had a lot of disadvantages in shooting and Centerfire Shells just fixed all of those overnight.

Black powder shotguns and rifles have made a big resurgence in the USA because of American Hunting Seasons and the
extra length of a Season by using Black powder arms.
More modern design with smart engineering produces firearms that are not a disadvantage at all to the Black powder Deer hunter
and they get to hunt about another 3 months of the year as a bonus.

Black powder target shooting is a hoot too, 'black' has little recoil, lots of noise and smoke - more of a shove than a thump.
Many shooting events these days. modern Black powders, projectiles and arms, it has a surprisingly large following.
-
-
This is an earlier paper tube shell, the paper rots off and you are left with the base.
When plastics became more available and cheaper to use, they quickly were adopted for shotgun shells and you will often
find the plastic still attached to the base, or, the base rusted away because they use cheap steel and brass plate it for protection before use.

1557051737_shotshell.jpg

Pinfire Shotshell

1557049838_pinfire_shotshells.jpg

Pinfire Shotshell in Shotgun

1557049838_pinfire-photo.jpg

Deepseeker wrote:

Hi guys,

I went detecting yesterday up around McIvor, and I did happen upon a shotgun shell end. It said on the end that it was an Eley Australia and yes it was a pinfire going by the divot in the centre.

I have a fairly limited knowledge on guns Greenhornet, so when you say a black powder shotgun do you mean like you see in the movies where they pour the powder through the end of the barrel, shove in some wadding and then put the shot in and ram it down with a long stick thing?


Still looking for Captain Feather-swords treasure chest !
Won't be long now - 3240+ holes and STILL counting. (bloody ring-pulls and tabs) LOL

3 users like this post: aussiemd, Goldpick, Deepseeker

#9

Greenhornet_au
Member
Joined: 01 November 2016
Posts: 697
Member
05 May 2019 09:42 pm

The round insert thing is just the design for the primer of shotgun shells, the shot shell bases are weak in construction and the outer "insert" is there to support
the primer and base against the pressures of firing. It also uses a different igniter/primer compound than that of rifle primers

You can get, 12G brass shells that use standard 'rifle primers' that press into a more substantial base like that of rifle cartridges.


Still looking for Captain Feather-swords treasure chest !
Won't be long now - 3240+ holes and STILL counting. (bloody ring-pulls and tabs) LOL

1 user likes this post: Deepseeker

#10

aussiemd
Member
From: Wallaroo
Joined: 06 March 2019
Posts: 19
Member
28 May 2019 02:15 pm

I've added mobile accessibility to the headstamp database. If you're on a mobile you should be able to scroll across now to see dates and comments. I've also added a lot of new types of shotgun shells.


Website Blog and Shotshell Headstamp ID: aussiemetaldetecting.com
Instagram: @aussiemetaldetecting

2 users like this post: Greenhornet_au, Deepseeker

#11

treasureman
Member
Joined: 07 September 2014
Posts: 1,021
Member
11 June 2019 08:33 am

this is awesome! thank you so much. I have found a few of those pinfire shotgun shells but thought nothing of them up until now. but thanks dearly for insight

2 users like this post: aussiemd, Deepseeker

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